Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Release date: September 25, 2012
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Little, Brown / Listening Library
Format: Digital audiobook
Source: Library
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies."

When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first.
The Diviners is one of those books that I was excited about yet I never seemed to be excited enough about to read it. I wouldn't have read it had my library not had the audiobook for me to download. Luckily for me, they did and I got to read (listen to!) an astoundingly good book.

I've read Libba Bray's Gemma Doyle series, but not her two other books. They didn't particularly appeal to me, though I may rethink them now that I remember how much I like her writing. She knows how to set a distinct scene with words, and her ability to write the creep factor is fantastic. There were times where I was shivering from what I was hearing, be it traditionally creepy like the Naughty John song or subtly creeping like with the woman describing eugenics.

I couldn't get over how much thought and research was obviously put into this book. It's obvious that Libba Bray did more than just check out a few resources when she began writing this one. The characters use phrases that are not your typical flapper lingo and allude to certain aspects that most people don't talk about from that time period. A distinct advantage to listening to the audiobook was definitely that the narrator, January LaVoy, did such a good job in (firstly) speaking very distinctly for each character and (second) had such a good accent and ability to make the turns of phrase believable. Had the narrator not been so talented, the audiobook would have been unlistenable (Is that a word? You totally understand what I mean if it's not, right?)

Beyond the research and writing, I especially enjoyed Evie. I couldn't wait to see what she did or said next. Her vivacity kept the book from getting too dark and her imperfections made her lovable. The only problem with Evie being so appealing was that she made many of the other characters quite dim in comparison. I couldn't find myself caring much about Memphis or Theta, especially since their stories really take a backseat to the main action of the book--though I expect that will change with the sequel and that what we learn in this book will be quite crucial. Even so, when the story wasn't following Evie or Jericho, I was kind of uninterested. I will be interested to see where the concept of the diviners goes, however, in the next book.

Anyways, if you're considering reading The Diviners, I assure you it's more than "jake" and that you'll be happy you did. (Also, I quite recommend the audiobook. Listening to someone sing all the different little song samples if worth it in and of itself, and the dialect is probably better heard than read anyways.)

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